NICK LEYDEN - Thursday, March 18, 2010
After finishing last season in Finland with second division club Pallo-Iirot, Daniel Artunez will be making the jump up to the Veikkausliiga this season with FC International Turku.
Antunez revealed that it was his former coach who helped set up the trial with Inter during which the 24 year old defender clearly impressed.
"I got a trial with Inter though last year's coach of Pallo-Iirot, Veijo Wahlsten," Antunez recently told YA. "He spoke to the head coach of Inter, Job Dragstma, and he granted an opportunity to see me. I trained with the team for two weeks, played two games in the Liiga Cup and was offered a contract."
The "Sinimustat" will be looking to continue their recent success after winning the league in 2008 and the Suomen Cup in 2009.
Antunez listed both achievements as among his aims for the upcoming campaign.
"My main goal this season is to help the team win the League, the Suomen Cup, and to help the team qualify for the UEFA group stage," he explained.
In 2008 the defender was drafted by the Colorado Rapids out of the University of Hartford, but after missing out on a roster spot he joined the Rochester Rhinos of the USL First Division until season's end.
The globetrotting defender then spent a portion of the 2009 season with Brasilis FC, a second divison team in Sao Paulo, Brazil, before landing in Pallo-Iirot to conclude the year.
Now with a stable situation in Turku, the ambitious Antunez says that he hopes to continue maturing as a player and ultimately find success in some of Europe's bigger leagues.
"I want to continue growing and improving as a player, and to get to a good [soccer] level so I can play in a top league in Europe," he concluded.
Inter will open the 2010 season at home by welcoming Mariehamn into the Veritas Stadion for a cup match on March 20th.